The day started with Justin and me, the first two student Lideres Del Dia (LDD/Leaders of the Day). We started with our first job, waking up at 5:30 in the morning after a long Day 2. We woke up at that time to make sure everyone was awake by 6:00 in the morning. We had to knock on everyone’s door to make sure everyone getting ready for breakfast and the long day ahead of us. We headed to our restaurant Comedor Imabite for breakfast. Some of our jobs as LDD was to make sure everyone was present using a headcount and making sure everyone was prepared and knew the upcoming schedule.
Shortly after breakfast, our bus picked us up and drive us to the beach Las Penitas. We took boats to the beach and our drivers gave us a tour of the surrounding ecosystem and its history. When we made it to the beach, our whole group was attacked by mosquitoes! However, our discomfort didn’t last long as we all had a great time, going into the water and enjoying the waves. After our time at the beach, we headed back to a restaurant that was close to the beach, Barca de Oro. To get there, we walked along a new beach created by the receding tide. We had some good food at the restaurant such as Chicken Strips, Fish Strips, Pasta and Plantain Patties. It was a really good and fun experience being able to eat by the shore.
After our lunch, our bus picked us up once again and drove us to Xuchialt, an art school in the area that teaches the practices of different art forms that are present in Nicaragua. One thing we did there was creating a Sawdust Carpet. We laid colored sawdust shavings on a bed of regular brown sawdust. We used different colors to create different individual art pieces within the carpet to express ourselves in different ways. Some of us wrote our names while others created pictures on the sawdust. To our surprise, after we were finished, we were told that it is a tradition in Nicaragua that you must destroy the carpet with your feet after it is finished. This made us really sad that we had to step on our creations after many of us poured so much time into the carpet. However, we embraced this culture change, and they taught us that things that we value are not to last forever.
The teachers at Xuchialt then showed us one of the murals they created on the walls. The mural explained the history of Sutiaba, the warriors that lived in their area. The owners of the school then performed a Nicaraguan Dance for us that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. After this, it was time to head back to the hostel to prepare for dinner back at Comedor Imabite.
As the day came to a close, we finished a self-reflection about how we have to be open-minded about new cultures and not be afraid to take in their practices. These practices can sometimes be difficult as we are not used to them, but we should all embrace them. We should all be open to learn about new cultures and learn that everyone is different. This was a great experience to learn about Nicaraguan culture, which was our goal from the beginning of the day.
By: Jonathan and Justin
Jonathan’s P.S. Shout out to all my family back home, especially Mom, Dad, Kat, Lizzie and Nathaniel in the Bay Area, I miss you all a lot and I want you to know that I am experiencing new things here. I am getting an eye-opening experience about the Nicaraguan lifestyle. I want all you guys to know that I am always thinking about you guys and I appreciate the comments made from all the families that show that you all are thinking about us.
Justin’s P.S. Mom, Dad, and Kris I love you! 🙂